DIF sells maiden fund to Aberdeen

The global asset manager has bought a portfolio of 16 assets on behalf of APG less than four months after launching its fifth infrastructure fund.

Dutch-based fund manager DIF has sold DIF PPP, its maiden infrastructure fund, to Aberdeen Asset Management (Aberdeen).

The £324.5 billion (€410 billion; $508 billion) firm paid an undisclosed sum for the portfolio, which comprises 16 assets operating in the education, healthcare, leisure, transport and government accommodation sectors and located in the UK, France, the Netherlands, Denmark and Ireland.

Several of the assets were jointly held between DIF PPP and DIF Infrastructure II (DIF II), the firm’s second fund. DIF II has also sold its stakes in the assets as part of the transaction, following which 15 of them are now majority-owned by Aberdeen. 

Aberdeen’s infrastructure team will manage the assets on behalf of Dutch pension APG. 

“The sale of DIF PPP represents a milestone in the history of DIF, as it is the first realisation of a complete fund which DIF has managed from start to finish,” said Wim Blaasse, managing partner of DIF, in a statement.

Launched in 2005, DIF PPP reached a final closing in 2006 on €121 million and has been fully invested since 2009. DIF II, a 2007-vintage vehicle closed on €571 million, is also fully deployed. DIF has since launched a third fund, DIF III, which reached a final close last year on €800 million.

“In order to achieve best value for our investors we have run a competitive auction process, together with our advisers, in which we have ensured all potentially interested parties have had an opportunity to participate,” said Paul Nash, a partner at DIF.

The deal comes as Aberdeen raises its fifth infrastructure fund, launched last August. Earlier this year, the asset manager also completed the acquisition of Scottish Widows Investment Partnership’s (SWIP) infrastructure fund management business from Lloyds Banking Group, the latest step of a £550 million transaction announced in November 2013.